As you all are likely aware of, the Los Angeles Clippers franchise has been sold to former CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, for a record $2 billion. Without going into deep detail, former owner Donald Sterling was forced to sell the team as a result of his offensive racist comments which were released a few weeks ago. But there is no need to beat a dead horse, so let’s get into the monumental appraisal made by BusinessInsiders.com placed upon the Los Angeles Lakers franchise after the Clippers’ sale.
Earlier this year, Forbes released a list of projected franchise values headlined by none other than the New York Knicks and Lakers, respectively. New York was valued highest at $1.4 billion, while Los Angeles narrowly trailed with a value of $1.35 billion. $1.35 billion is certainly a ton of money, but it’s miniscule when compared to their now $4.7 billion appraisal. No, that is not a typo; the Lakers are now expected to sell for close to $5 billion if ever put up for sale by the Buss family. What is even more mind-blowing to think about is that price has the potential to rise if in fact Jim Buss and Jeanie Buss decided to put them on the market.
Any billionaire out there would jump at the opportunity to purchase such a storied franchise as the Lakers if given the chance. That person would not only be buying possibly the most desired destination amongst NBA players, but also the franchise perhaps with the most fans across the country. Who knows, a few years from now the Buss siblings may decide to ultimately decide to sell the team if they fail to turn today’s Lakers into a contending team once again. Jim Buss has even gone on the record stating he would resign his position as Executive VP of Basketball Operations if he is unable to make the team successful within three to four years. Although it would be against their father Jerry Buss‘ dying wishes, selling the franchise may be their best option if fans are calling for it.
Who is the king of the Staples Center? We will have to wait until next year to find out.